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The Ginger Man

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Taps: 81 / Bottles: 66
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: N
BA SCORE
95
world-class

89 Ratings
Ratings: 89
Reviews: 65
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: 7.73%
$$ - reasonable
[ Bar, Eatery ]

301 Lavaca St
Austin, Texas, 78701-3936
United States
phone: (512) 473-8801

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @austingingerman

Notes:
None, yet.

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Ratings: 89 | Reviews: 65 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of walshclimb
walshclimb

Nevada

4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$

The Ginger Man is a classic Austin bar. I heard recently that they will be moving soon, but they are in the same old location for now. We stopped in on a recent overdue visit to Austin and had a great time.

There are usually some people hanging out on the front deck. Upon entering, you see a nice wood trim pub with a long bar and loads of taps down the right side behind the bar. Loads of great beer including TX, micro, euro, etc. They had a cask porter on hand pump from 512 brewery that is definitely worth a try. The back patio is very popular when it is warm. It holds a bunch of picnic tables that are shaded by a few big trees. You have to watch out though because grackles hang out there and may leave you white-stained if you are under them. It hasn't happened to me, but I have heard others ocmplaining the last 2 times I was there.

In any case, great beer selection, great staff, reasonable prices and a really good atmosphere. Can't really ask for much more. I hope the new place is as great as the old one.

03-02-2009 06:12:49 | More by walshclimb
Photo of NCSUdo
NCSUdo

Massachusetts

4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | $$

Just got back from The Ginger Man, spent a few hours there tonight after dinner. Wasn't what I expected, but that doesn't mean a whole lot. I hear about a place with 80+ beers on tap and I'm thinking pearly gates, but it never shocks me when I walk into a very normal looking bar.

Atmosphere wise, this is nice laid back place. It looked about half empty, but a I overheard a regular comment on how busy it was and the bartender agreed. A little dark for my liking and only some juke box tunes playing despite an ample size for both music, TV, etc. Seemed like a really friendly environment with a lot of locals and regulars.

Service was good. I only had one question regarding "Lucifer" which I wasn't familiar with and was told that it was similar to Duvel. Good quality place, I mentioned to them about there recent appearance in BA magazine and the bartender wasn't aware of it (although he did mention that he thought something was coming since BA was around during a recent beer fest).

Selection can't hardly be beat. First time I got to wrap my palatte around an Arrogant Bastard so you know it was a good night for me. Sure wish the Tar Heel state could get some Stone in, cause the Bastard was A+. Finshed the night with a glass of Lindeman's Framboise, and was shocked at how little I spent. I spent more on the cab ride home then I did on top notch beers I enjoyed while there.

Overall, a really great place to go and have a beer. Doesn't seem busy during the week, won't be able to speculate as for the weekend. Surrounded by other pubs/beer bars with live entertainment if you are looking for that.

06-19-2007 04:59:03 | More by NCSUdo
Photo of Durge
Durge

Connecticut

4.47/5  rDev +4.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 3 | $$

Stopped here for a couple of hours on a Wednesday night while visiting Austin. I didn't count the taps but there were as many as I can ever recall seeing and all the ones I sampled seemed very fresh. I stuck with local brews of which there were many to choose. Bar tenders were very friendly and prompt. Quick to inform on every selection and accurate by my experience. The atmosphere is dark and relaxed but even on a Wednesday, which was not very busy, the clientele were generally buzzing and friendly. There was a pool table inside and a nice outside "beer garden". The juke box offered some decent blues & rock tunes with a good sound system. They apparently have bands there some nights, being downtown in Austin, but there was no entertainment that Wednesday. A few screens available for viewing sports, primarily from the bar. Decor was sort of old brick warehouse variety with some interesting beer items displayed. It's a fairly large place with a few coffee house type sitting areas (plush chairs and sofas) if you have a small group to be with, or a hot date perhaps. I didn't try any of their food but it did not seem to be a significant part of their business. Beer was the deal here and the varieties were really beautiful, a little of everything and many rare ones on tap to sample (cask ales, Imperial IPA's, etc., etc.). Only wish I could have stayed longer or come back again before leaving town. Take a taxi here and enjoy the beer. An excellent place to get your beer on!!

06-03-2007 02:15:21 | More by Durge
Photo of DrJay
DrJay

Massachusetts

4.44/5  rDev +4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | $$

I stopped in here twice on a recent visit to Austin. It worked out great because my hotel was across from the convention center, only a few blocks away. My experience both times was great -- first time I sat at the bar and had fast, attentive service all night and the second time found a table for myself and a few colleagues. It was busy during my second visit, but it was still easy to get service at the bar.

Deciding what to have was more difficult. With 80 taps (and a couple of beer engines) staring at you, it can take a while to figure out what to have. The printed beer menus helped, but weren't up to date with the most recent changes. Sitting at the bar helped, since it was easy to chat up the bartenders and hear what kegs had just been put on. The selection was impressive, with plenty of national and regional craft selections, quite a few limited release beers, and one beer engine running during my visit -- I mostly stuck with locals like St. Arnolds, Live Oak, and 512, but did end my first visit with a Victory Storm King.

Decent vibe overall, quite dark inside the bar area with an open air patio in the rear of the building. Good tunes on the jukebox too. Definitely a place I would go out of my way to visit again if I'm in the Austin area and highly recommended.

06-05-2011 21:32:50 | More by DrJay
Photo of 86sportster883
86sportster883

New Jersey

4.4/5  rDev +3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | $$

The Ginger Man beer bar in Austin has a huge number of taps (about 80) against a copper backsplash extending across the back wall of its single long wooden bar. More than half the taps are dedicated to US micros with good representation from local SE TX area brewers (St. Arnold, Live Oak, Independence, and Real Ale). Belgian, German and UK beers make up most of the rest of the draft beer offerings. In addition, there are about 100 bottled beers offered with a large majority being either US or Belgian, and the remainder being mostly German, British, Canadian and Mexican.

You'll waste more time trying to find parking on the street than it's worth, and I would recommend simply pulling into one of the public lots or garages in the area. I stopped by late on a Sunday night and was greeted by a live version of Talking Heads' "Stop Making Sense" as I walked in the door. The music was loud, but not in any way annoying. I suspected, and later confirmed, that the music was being driven from a jukebox.

The place is bigger than my initial impression led me to believe. Dart boards up front, a pool table in the back and a single TV above one end of the bar. The place is nicely laid out to accommodate small groups looking to hang out in what is, no doubt, a very crowded place during peak hours. But if you get there early enough you can probably score one of the small nooks furnished to make you feel like you're hanging in a friend's den or basement. Add in some quality beer, a game of darts or pool, and this is about as good of a hang out bar as it gets.

I started with a half pint draft of Old Stock Ale, blackboard listed as a new arrival. This was followed by a pint of the Collaboration not Litigation Ale. Both beers were $4.75. The CnLA is a spicy amber Belgian-style strong ale with tremendous lacing and a creamy smooth mouthfeel.

The clientele is mixed, but mostly a crowd of 20-30 somethings. The barmaid is quick, attentive and easy on the eyes. A raspy voice adds to her overall allure, but it's her genuinely pleasant nature and disarming smile that makes me feel warm inside when I order a beer from her... OK, maybe it's the high abv beers getting to me, but one should never let realty interfere with a warming sense of delusion.

The last draft I ordered was the Full Moon Pale Rye from Real Ale. It's a local TX brew I've never had, but it was fresh and I really enjoyed it.

Across the States you'll find a number of bars with a large number of draft beers on tap. What makes the Austin Ginger Man a cut above the rest is its well thought out selection (both on tap and in bottles).

03-27-2008 22:52:56 | More by 86sportster883
Photo of mapman97
mapman97

Texas

4.4/5  rDev +3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5

Best overall beer selection in Austin. This place has an awesome draugh selection featuring 82 beers on tap and this includes 4 Lambics. The bottle selection is less impressive but still good with 110 choices, 9 of those Lambics. This is the only place I know of with such a large selection of Lambic Beers, both flavored and un-flavored.
The atmosphere is great with lots of wood and a library feel but can get a little loud since it is in the downtown Austin area which is always full of roaming hoards of revelers. The bar area is a treat for the beer drinkers eye with near 90 beer taps projecting at eye level behind the bar and really cool chalk drawn art above, advertising specials and events.
There is an outside beer garden as well and this is usually a good place to toss back a pint or two in relative quite (as long as it isn't summer, which starts in May and ends in late October, this is Texas you know).
The wine selection is average for a beer bar but a little better than average selection of Ports. There are also several ciders available on tap or in bottles.
The food is average pub fare (snacks and sandwiches), but that isn't why you are here is it. It is usually very busy in here on a weekend night and this challanges the service but they usually keep up.

04-13-2002 17:51:09 | More by mapman97
Photo of Geigespieler
Geigespieler

South Carolina

4.4/5  rDev +3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$

Went here on a Friday night while in town for a conference at UT. The place was quite busy, but I found a spot at the bar and tried the roast beef sandwich and two beers: a local Alt and a local Braggot. Service was very attentive in spite of the crowd. Sandwich was very tasty, though the food options were somewhat limited. Beer selection was quite diverse and the two I tried were very nice. I was also offered samples of two other beers that I asked about. Unfortunately, the Austin Craft Beer Festival was starting the day I had to leave town, but I'm glad I was able to stop by. They only charged me for one beer and the sandwich and told me not to worry about it when I pointed this out (I left a nice tip). Will definitely be back next time I'm in town.

10-22-2011 05:40:30 | More by Geigespieler
Photo of Shultzerdugen
Shultzerdugen

Missouri

4.38/5  rDev +2.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 3 | $$$

Austin is weird. They don't need any more damn shirts or signs saying "Keep Austin Weird" because it is already weird enough! Now I have that off my chest I can move on to the review.

This was my first visit to a Ginger Man and I must say I am impressed. 83 taps including a rotating cask selection, and I'm not sure how many bottles, but it was a lot.

The place is narrow with the bar running about half the length. Dark wood everywhere, 2 steel tip dart boards, one bar box pool table, not much interior seating. Very nice outdoor seating area with large picnic tables and trees for the grackles to make their sounds from.

The menu was lacking as far as selection goes. My wife and I shared a jumbo pretzel and spinach dip with tortilla chips. Nothing wrong with the food, but nothing great either.

The only service was at the bar, which kind of blew, but the tenders seemed reasonably knowing of the beers they carried and the last one I was served by made a nice suggestion.

All and all a great place to check out if you're in Austin, with the best selection of beer I saw in the area.

05-25-2006 17:20:35 | More by Shultzerdugen
Photo of JonathanL7890
JonathanL7890

Texas

4.38/5  rDev +2.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$

Another beerfly in the category of "I can't believe that I haven't reviewed this place".

The Ginger Man is one of the top beer bars in Austin, no doubt about that. They have a very solid lineup of locals, seasonals, and imports. The bartenders all have been there a long time and are very knowledgeable. They have a beer tasting usually once a month that is well done.

Inside is a little small and cramped but they have a nice patio in the rear and a porch in the front that you can hang out and people watch if you want.

If the weather gets nasty, there is usually a line to get in because the place is so small. This is because of the fire code.

My homebrew club meets here once a month and I have to give them points for that. They are really cool about letting us bring in all our homebrew and taking over the back patio.

The food is above average. Pretty good selection of bar food. I had a roast beef sandwich on swiss with tasty french bread. Sandwich was warmed and it had a tasty horseradish sauce with it.

They are moving just down the street in a week or two but I'm sure they the quality of the place will stay the same.

02-18-2009 17:48:49 | More by JonathanL7890
Photo of miskatonic
miskatonic

New York

4.36/5  rDev +2.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | $$

Spent a long weekend in Austin Recently and it seemed a no-brainer to go to the famed Ginger Man. All I can say is wow! Wow, wow, wow!!! As a New York City resident I am no stranger to the concept of the multi-draught-line beer bar, nor am I unfamiliar with a bar known to have a magnificent bottle selection, so I was holding high hopes when I visited here, and I was completely blown away by what I witnessed. The thing I like so much about the Austin location of the Ginger Man (and what I think the NYC location can take a lesson on) is their incredible selection of locally produced craft ales (often multiple selections from a single brewery), selections from Live Oak, Shiner, St Arnold, & Real Ale Brewing Co. dominated the selection of 39 american craft ales on draught. When you consider that US breweries represent 50% of the entire draught selection (something like 80 lines), you may agree that this is craft beer bar that favors the little guy over big Euro-breweries and their deep pockets (you listening NYC G.M.?). The remaining forty lines seem to be an evenly divided selection of German, British/Irish, and Belgian offerings of note (usually) and fine quality The bottle selection is also a lot more impressive with far more American selections than I remember seeing on the NYC list, and just a more well rounded selection in general. It's great to see a town like Austin (where American macros, Guiness, and Mexican Brew seem to dominate the bar/retail scene) support a major beer bar that should definitely be a vacation destination for all BA's and role model for beer bars across the US.

12-10-2006 18:10:15 | More by miskatonic
The Ginger Man in Austin, TX
95 out of 100 based on 89 ratings.